6th June, 2015

San Francisco Young Leaders Napa Valley Wine Tour 2015

On Saturday June 6th, more than 30 San Francisco Young Leaders set off for a Napa Valley tour, led by SFYL Co-Chair Michael McGrath.  It was a spectacular day as the bus drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, through Marin County and on up to the glorious wine country.  This is the time of year when the weather is summer-like, without being too hot, and there was abundant greenery on the vines.  We had a great group on board that included Barry O’Brien, Samira Kamangar, LJ Prendergast, Rory Cameron, Jake Malanoski, Ashlinn Marron, Orla Clifford, Sandra O’Donoghue, Nisha Kamat and Dervilla Iannon.  They were joined by Fiona Kavanagh, Grainne Barron, Claire Lee, Ronan Roche, Alex Sieke, Helen Resor, Bridget Silvi, Mike Stack, Alan McGlinchey, Rebecca Kinsella, Jessica Dal Porto, Mairead Kavanagh, Emma McGurk and Gina Conheady.

The itinerary included visits to one of our finest WineGeese wineries – Twomey Cellars in Calistoga. Twomey Cellars was established in 1999 by the Duncan Family, who have operated the successful Silver Oak Cellars in California since 1972. From there, the group continued on to Frank Family Vineyards for another fantastic tasting and a delicious al fresco lunch under the giant elm trees at wooden picnic tables overlooking beautiful vineyard views.  Located in the historic Larkmead winery in Calistoga (the 3rd oldest winery in Napa), Frank Family Vineyards is one of the most sought after tasting rooms in the Napa Valley. It has been voted best tasting room in the Napa Valley for 6 years in a row.  Next stop was Sullivan Vineyards, a boutique winery located in the Rutherford Appellation, producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Bordeaux style blends.  This family owned winery produced its first vintage in 1981.  The estate includes 23 of acres of vineyards, a charming tasting room, the Sullivan family’s collection of classic cars, and a reflection pond.   The Sullivan’s strongly believe in dry farming (stressing the vines contributes to specific characteristics within the actual grape) and the flavors in their wines truly represent the “terroir” or land from where the grapes were grown.

This was a memorable and marvelous day in Napa.  Let’s raise a glass to Mike McGrath for creating this wonderful inaugural Young Leader visit – the first of many more to the wine country.